If you go to White chocolate bar, ask to sit outside. They have a nice patio with a big outdoor fireplace and if it gets too cold - not too often in Phoenix - heat lamps.
They call this place "Honest American Dining". Not sure what that means. The food is decent, the appetizers more notable than the entrees, but I'm not into ribs and that is supposed to be the best on the menu along with the burgers.
Pretty pricey for what it is, around $20 - 30 per entree. Parking available outside (it's in a strip mall).
Yamashiro is located in the Hollywood hills just above the Chinese Theater. It is a traditional Japanese style building with beautiful grounds and sweeping views of Los Angeles. The food was good enough, I'm sure there are better places for Sushi and Japanese in LA but not many places so pretty. Valet parking is available.
Located across from the Mann's Chinese theater and the Kodak Theater, this is a little gem in the midst of tourist traps. Their burgers are delicious, cooked to perfection, as are the fries and onion rings. Like most burger places, the portions are quite large, and it is hard to clean your plate. A burger and fries with a coke will run over $15. Parking is readily available at the hotel or in one of the nearby lots.
I stayed at the Moana Surfrider hotel one night on a layover to Maui. The hotel is beautiful, with a huge Banyan tree in the courtyard, but the rooms are tiny. I would have gone completely nuts staying here for more than a night. It is located right on the beach, so you are paying for convenience. The street side of the hotel is overrun with tourist traps, but it is Hawaii so some of that cannot be avoided.
Tomaso's is a highly rated Italian restaurant in Phoenix that does not disappoint. It is located in a strip mall on Camelback, and it is not much to look at inside. The food is top notch though, with a wide variety of menu items. The service was nice and courteous.
Appetizers are around $10, entrees $20 and up depending on whether you opt for a simple pasta or meat.
Plenty of parking available in the lot outside.
Hansen's has been in business since 1939 and has been truly one of a kind ever since. Using a unique machine created by Ernest Hansen that is still in operation today, the snoballs are lovingly crafted at the helm of third generation Sno-Bliz'er Ashley, and topped with flavored syrups created by Ernest's wife Mary.
Hansens is only open from May to August and even then not every day so call first. You can expect a wait on most nights, but once you get the sweet, cold goodness in your mouth you will forget that you stood in the sticky street waiting for it. Highly recommended are the cream of nectar, cream of peach and cream of ice cream.
Domilise's has been in business for decades, and there is one simple explanation for that - delicious Po Boy's. It's not much to look at, but you won't care once you take your first bite. They fry the seafood fresh in front of you, and their roast beef po boys are said to be among the city's best (I am loyal to the shrimp po boys). A po boy and soft drink will run you about $12 or so. The sandwiches are filling so this is quite the yummy bargain.
Martin's Uptown was always a favorite lunch spot for me, but with an indefinite reopening schedule, I've headed for Metry. They have a huge selection of wine and liquor, just about anything you could think of, and great sandwiches and burgers in the deli. A deli sandwich will run you around $10 but the portions are huge and your tummy will not be disappointed.
Stone and Press is a wonderful small gallery in the French Quarter. I have bought dozens of original works on paper from them, but my favorite is Frederick Mershimer, who specializes in mezzotint prints of New Orleans and New York. He is a wonderfully talented artist. Prints range from a couple of hundred dollars to well over a thousand. Stop in to buy or just browse. The staff is very helpful and passionate about their artists.
Pied Nu is one of a few boutiques who carries my favorite jewelry designer - Cathy Waterman. This jewelry is not cheap, but it is beautiful, timeless and elegant.
Pied Nu also carries a variety of funky - but pricey - women's clothing. In addition, it carries the standard Magazine St boutique fare - throw pillows, home knick knacks. Not the most affordable store on the block, but a fun window shopping experience!